America’s Next Bill Clinton!

The sexism of Southern Baptists …

You know, I am all for people pursuing their religious beliefs, and practicing their beliefs and living  life as they see fit, but things like these piss the hell out of me.

It’s an article about a Texas university that’s offering classes on “being a good homemaker,” as part of sociology classes – although a Bible college, it’s still pretty disturbing – especially the quote below.

“Feminists are right to be concerned about how this agenda plays out among nominal Southern Baptists,” says Dr. Brad Wilcox, a sociologist at the University of Virginia. “But this model works quite well for traditional religious couples. Conservative, Protestant, churchgoing women are happier than other wives, generally, and their work around the home is more appreciated than that of women who are not married to churchgoing, Protestant men.” 

In short, what this class is teaching are the “roles” in which women must have  in the homes – that husbands are the bread winners, and wives are supposed their roles and “submit herself graciously to the servant leadership of her husband.” At this divinity college, women are learning to be homemakers, and the majority of the staff members are men. It’s also a theological college, but as the patriarchy would have it, none of the women are allowed to pursuit those divinity degrees. Why? Because God said so. Essentially, these people are saying at men and women have different roles, and it’s not interchangeable – that they’re equal under the eyes of God, but the women must submit to their husbands, and be “discreet, chaste homemakers.”What the fuck? Doesn’t that sound eerily like “separate, but equal?” As we all know, separate but equal isn’t.

 I support religion, and I believe that in the end, people are responsible for their own search of the truth …but when said beliefs and “truths,” are used to push women back into the private sphere, while men are still the movers and shakers of the world, I have a problem with that. I have a problem with treating women like servants, as if they’re not intelligent or capable enough to do the jobs that men have been “assigned” to be the public spheres.

More importantly, it gives men an excuse to not share the division of labor that women endure in the private sphere. Let’s face it – cleaning the toilet, doing laundry and accomplishing the mundane bullshit of life aren’t exactly exciting for most people. Somehow, to claim that women naturally enjoy cleaning toilets is just an insult to them.  

At the end of the day, these Southern Baptists can claim religion as an excuse for their practice, but in truth, I’ll call it what it is: sexist, discriminatory, archaic and misogynistic.Women aren’t objects. They’re people – the same people as men, and should be afforded every opportunity to do what they want, instead of what the patriarchal, religious and sexist institution wants them to do. Anyone who thinks otherwise is sexist and probably an idiot … 

CNN: Bad kissers don’t get to second base …
December 3, 2007, 8:57 pm
Filed under: bad kissers, CNN, college, dating, kissing, making out, sex

I am sorry that this story has no feminist connection, but I am rolling on the floor (well, I was) laughing – I cannot believe this story made CNN’s headlines!

The gist of it is that after the first date, even if you are attracted to someone, that person does not get a second date if that person is considered a bad kisser.

A quote that stands out – and quite funny, is below.

“I knew this girl that I’ll call Big Tongue,” recalls Craig Hinkle, 38, a Westminster, California-based network administrator. “Her tongue was massive, and she insisted on trying to put the entire thing in my mouth. She was very forceful with it, and I started choking.”

To think, that guy is from the city I graduated high school in!

According to the article – men and women have different motives for kissing. For men, it’s a means to achieve the end – namely sexual access, whereas women use kissing as a way to assess compatibility through their partners’ saliva and breath.

I don’t know about all that – but I am guessing they’re talking about actual make-out kissing and not a quick peck on the lips. Still, the idea that I am kissed just to get a sample of my saliva is kind of freaky.

Here’s another potential problem with the article: sure, kisses are used to assess partners – but after they’re a couple, doesn’t a kiss just serve two purposes – one, namely to express affection, and two, to get the partner warmed up for sexual intimacy?

Believe it or not, there are “kissing classes,” in which people are taught how to properly kiss …I guess it gives a home meaning to being a teacher’s pet …although some teachers, you just might not want to kiss.

Lastly, the article also talks about certain techniques – like the vacuum techniques …which I am sure everyone knows about. But the one thing that it didn’t mention, and is a particular favorite of mine, is the literal sucking of the lips …in short, she’s got my top lip, I’ve got her bottom lip, and I gently suck …although once, I broke a girl’s lip vessel doing it. Kids, don’t try that one at home, in the car, or anywhere else without consulting me first, please.

Thoughts the article overall?

Career vs. matters of the heart (as a feminist)

Lately, I’ve discovered (or rediscovered) a softer, tender side of me that embraces love and emotions and, to be perfectly honest, it disturbs me.

For a long time – since I’ve moved here to Virginia and started what is sure to be a bright and promising political career, I’ve brushed aside emotions and love in favor of focusing on my career. After all, that was the reason I ended my previous 2.5-year relationship in the first place – because I thought there were more important things in the world than relationships.

Since being here, I’d go to events on and off campus, meet and impress someone, and we’d “hang out” for a week or two, I’d get bored, or she’d get bored, and we’d move on. I liked it that way. I liked having the ability to making others swoon with the wagging of my finger and the waving of my wine glass.

But lately, I’ve been preoccupied by emotions and that the “affinity” I’d feel for another being. I’ve found that I, the person who is more interested in solutions than feelings, am changing. I am starting to think that, just like everyone else in life, I’d be better off with someone with whom to share the limits of my existence.

I hate that feeling because it distracts me. I sit here writing a news article and I am staring blankly at the screen. I am beginning to have bad dreams about …things. I am sitting at the coffeeshop and reading poetry instead of my feminist texts. I am showing my softer side to people, and that makes me vunerable. I am starting to reject attention and affection received by some females …and the political career all the sudden doesn’t seem so important anymore. I’d be happy as a civil rights/women’s rights attorney …

What the fuck is wrong with me? I can embrace emotions just fine …but now, I am starting to give it more thoughts, and incoporating it into the big decisions I have in life. I am an intellectual, not a cheesy, full-of-emotion weakling. I am set out to change the world – not to fall for people. My life will be chronicled on this History Channel – not Lifetime.

The most disturbing part? I am actually happy with these changes, and I fully embrace them.

Maybe I am growing up. Maybe I’ve lost my magical, political touch.

I am not a flirt! I am just a (3rd wave) feminist!

Recently, I’ve been told – by more than just one woman – that the actions I take when around them tend to me misleading – and that I tend to be, according to some, a “flirt.”

I find this problematic and interesting because I am a pro-feminist male, and as such, I tend to treat everyone equality without regard to gender, but I cannot help but think somehow, because of my behavior, I am ending up confusing the shit out of some people, and in a sense, “leading them on.”

Because of my activism on and off campus in the feminist as well as progressive politics movements, I often dine with a lot of women – and have a lot of what I call “friendly outings” with them.

That’s certainly not the problem. The problem comes in when, in our interaction, I may say things that – in a gendered society as we know it, be considered flirting.

A touch on the shoulder here, a brush on the lap there, a “you’re amazing here,” a “you’ve got a beautiful mind,” there. Just compliments – and just friendly touching – all of which are welcomed. But then I’ve been accused that, because of this, women are taking it as a sign of a come on, and that I somehow don’t “follow through” with my actions, because I then go on and gloat about Emily and how wonderful she is and how much she means.

Perhaps that’s what bothers me the most about the gendered world as we know it – people can’t appreciate and show affection for one another – albeit a very platonic and friendly one, without having to feel as though they are somehow showing signs of romantic interests.

It’s not that I feel bad for myself – I live in a world with male privilege and have absolutely no rights to bitch or complain. I just feel bad that I may be leaving people with the wrong impression.

Really, in the end, is a brush on the lap, stroking someone’s face, or a compliment about how much you like them as a person, really a sign of a come on?

I mean – as a straight male, I do that to male friends, too. It’s a sign of affection. It’s a sign of closeness.

I don’t know. Maybe I’ll just be a robot, sit there and show no signs of emotions or affection whatsoever. Maybe then, no one would accuse me of being “well on [my] way to be America’s Next Bill Clinton – in behavior.”

“Need to get laid, go to a political rally

I found this article extremely amusing

Essentially, political campaigns that are aimed at a younger demographic (think Barrack Obama) are aiming at a younger crowd with promise of getting laid or finding a like-minded date.I have two really jumbled up thoughts of it. One: it doesn’t work. Traditionally, the 18-29 demographic is great for straw polls, but it doesn’t always translate into a political victory. Like it or not, our crowd is pretty fickled.While our mindsets are in the right place, we don’t actually go to the poll. Then there are those who are truly committed in that age bracket who doesn’t need to go to a political function to get laid. They are actually doing this for the right reasons and are committed to voting for a certain candidate anyway, so it’s pointless and a fiscal waste to spend money on them. You can see it now, election day comes around, two people are in bed cuddling after their fuck fest at around 7 p.m.

“You know, I had a feeling we were supposed to do something today?”
“We did — each other.”
“No, something else — something important.”
“Oh, shit! We’re supposed to vote for Barrack Obama. Hurry! Precincts close in an hour!”
They throw on their clothes, speed down the road only to find a traffic jam. Barrack Obama comes in third.

My second thought is this: there might be some truths to the article. In my experiences, as a liberal, Democrat and feminist, the women whom I’ve met and fallen for (and those who’ve fallen for me), been out with and dated and whatnot, are always a much better experience at political/feminist events, than drunk and throwing up under a bar.

Perhaps it has to do with the fact that deep down inside, rather than a quick lay, we all want someone with whom we share values and convictions, and a desire to see the world the way we want it.

In the end, for me (and I would say “liberals,” but I don’t claim to speak for all liberals), love isn’t about what the person can do for us, but rather, what that person does (and potentially can do) for the world. Maybe it’s just the little hippie in me (without the long hair and drugs) talking. I don’t know.

Thirdly, (I know I promised two thoughts, but I lied), I was kind of offended by the article and the “liberal chicks are easy” line in the article. It’s not that they’re easy, it’s perhaps that they’re more comfortable with their sexuality.

It also offends me because it gives the idea that we’re supposed to stand up for a cause just to get laid. It offends me even more that the person quoted is seeing women, once again, not for their character and values and beliefs (in this case, as liberals and feminists), but as a piece of meat, there for his pleasure.

Sex is greatly appreciated and awesome, but it ought to come with respect and equality – and there is no respect and equality in a statement like, “liberal chicks are easy.”

A pro-feminist male in love (with a feminist!)

I am very sorry for a most cheesy post! 

So, I think I’ve met the woman I would like – the person who is going to be the Hillary Clinton to my Bill Clinton. Some of you  have heard about her before – but I’d like to say this one more time – she is amazing. In the words of my favorite poet, “I don’t know if love conquers all, but I know it’s conquering me at an alarming rate.”

We met at a feminist conference; she interned this summer for a women’s rights organization; she’s spent time overseas to help poor people; she is not religious; she is active in progressive politics both on and off campus; she has a beautiful mind; and her greatest ambition is to one day win the Nobel Peace Prize. What more can a person ask for in a mate, right?

To be sure, we are not a couple – and I like it that way. But I feel this affinity and longing for her. Yet, the funny thing is that I am very much interested in women, in general, and I do go out with a lot of women – most of whom are feminists.

Some people have told me that doing so is inconsistent with my values, because I am “playing the field.” They’ve said that if I truly do feel good-and-love for her, that I should just try to be with her, and not go out to dinners and dates with any other women.

Here, the word “date” becomes one that needs to be defined: is going to dinner with a woman considered a date? Is it a date if you two are the only ones at the table at dinner and drinks? I certainly don’t think so, but others seem to. The thing is I am interested in the way women think – their minds, their thoughts, their experiences and the way they see things. That’s why I go out with women to dinners and cocktail bars. I like finding out about them. I expect nothing in return, and mean nothing by going out to dinner with them. Yet, some people don’t seem to understand that.

On another different note, I’ve been on two dates and a friendly dinner this week, and all of them were feminists. It’s funny because the two dates and the dinner friend broke gender roles, and paid for my dinner and drinks. I am a feminist,  but somehow, I felt uncomfortable with it – as if I owe them something for paying for my dinner and drinks. I don’t know how to take it when a woman pays for my dinner. The feminist in me tells me that it’s good for reversal of gender roles. The person in me tells me that I don’t want to burden them.

[one more note on the feminist I am interested in] She’s not ready for a relationship, and I understand that. And, in fact, I do appreciate her just as her – a person. I appreciate that she is in my life. If, in the end, nothing happens, she’d still be a great person for whom I am thankful to be in my life. I’d like to love her as America’s Next Hillary Clinton, but I already feel the world for her as just a person. I don’t need romance to appreciate her for who she is.


 Also, I am driving up to DC for her birthday, which means I need to take a day off from work and drive up there at night. This song below popped into my mind. It’s called I-95, by Fountains of Wayne.

They sell posters of girls washing cars
And unicorns and stars
And Guns N’ Roses album covers
They’ve got most of the Barney DVDs
Coffe mugs and tees
That say Virginia is For Lovers
But it’s not
Round here it’s just for truckers who forgot
To fill up on gasoline
Back up near Aberdeen

It’s a (four) hour drive
From me to you
(North) on I-95
And I’ll do it til the day that I die
If I need to
Just to see you
Just to see you

Hip-hop stations are fading in and out
All I’m receiving now
Is a kick drum mixed with static
Constellations are blinking in the sky
The road is open wide
And it feels so cinematic
‘Til a van
Driven by an elder gentleman
Cuts right in front of me
From then on that’s all I see

It’s a (four) hour drive
From me to you
(North) on I-95
And I’ll do it til the day that I die
If I need to
Just to see you
Just to see you

It’s just sex …

Reading one of the Campus Progress web logs this morning, I ran across an interesting statistic – that just about or more than 50 percent of college students are “still virgins.” My question: why do we care? Why is it that, as a society, we treat losing one’s virginity as sort of a rite of passage in which a new person is born and the old, less mature person is gone? It’s to say, as if, a person’s accomplishment in life is based on whether or not that person has engaged in sex. With rite-of-passage teen movies like “American Pie” being a part of the popular culture, it seems the message we’re sending teens is: your worth and dignity is based on whether you’ve “done it.” Yet, they also get messages from the Christian-right about remain “pure” and “untouched” until marriage. The result is a clash of culture, in which, on one hand, the message is about the importance of having sex. On the other hand, the message is about “saving” oneself until marriage. What’s a kid to do, really, in that situation? If virginity is so special, how come the majority of us aren’t even in touch with the person to whom we “lost” it? The truth is when it comes to virginity, there is nothing lost, and nothing gained.

Besides, what’s the exact definition of a virgin anyhow? One who’s pure in both thoughts and mind? One who’s never orgasmed? One who’s never had intercourse? One who’s had intercourse but never orgasm? Does oral sex count? What about priest sex? It’s all confusing, really — yet we’re still obsessed with the idea of virginity.

The fact of the matter is that there are more important things to worry about in one’s lifelong accomplishment than sex and “virginity.” We see movies like “The 40-Year-Old Virgin,” but we don’t see movies like, “The 40-Year-Old Bum Who Hasn’t Done a Damned Thing to Make the World Better.”

Sometimes, I wonder why. Why can’t we just teach kids, from both the left and the right that sex is something amazing and wonderful that should only be had with responsibility, respect and readiness? Isn’t that a much better message than: if you aren’t having sex, you’re a loser or if you’re having sex, you’re a slut?

Wouldn’t it make the whole abstinence education debate much easier to digest? Wouldn’t it make birth control much more easily gotten? Wouldn’t it strike down patriarchy and society’s ideal of a family at its root? It certainly would. Just by changing our personal outlooks on virginity and sex, we can certainly make move the world in the right political direction.

Second point: why does society put such a strong emphasis on the act of sex? It is, after all, only sex. I don’t mean to sound like a frat boy here, but sex is just an act. It’s neither holy nor God’s gift. It’s neither divine nor special. It’s purely biological, just like any other activity that we engage in as humans. Sure, sex is certainly not making love, but it’s got a quality of its own. Just like going for a walk, having dinner or spending the afternoon with someone, sex is just an act. It only becomes special when the person with whom we are sharing it is special. Other than that, sex is just – sex. Why make things any complicated than life already is? To be sure, one should always be monogamous in a relationship, but let’s not treat sex anymore special than just a kiss. A kiss, after all, without any emotions put into it, is just a kiss.

 Kind of funny, too, how “virginity” never seems to be an issue discussed when it comes to the LGBT community. I guess to the right, “virginity” is only important when baby-making is involved.

Don’t feel loved? It’s ’cause you’re desperate and a loser!
August 20, 2007, 1:18 pm
Filed under: Catholics, college, dating, desperate, Feminism, loser, love, relationships, Unitarians

For the past couple of weeks, I’ve sat back and observed, and now it’s time that I explode.

Help me understand here — I don’t get it: Why are some people so goddamned desperate to want to get into a relationship?

I constantly observe some of these people — adults, to be sure, who are constantly searching for someone with whom to be. For them, life is not fulfilled unless they are with somebody. They aren’t defined unless they are with someone. And most pathetically, they aren’t happy unless they are with someone.

They say that they want someone with whom to speak at the end of the day — someone to talk to …well, goddamn, get some friends! Besides, what makes you think you’re so interesting that whomever you’re with wants to hear about your day? That’s pathetic!

At the end of the day, I just want a beer and a cup of chili, not someone telling me shit I don’t give a shit about …

Every time they meet someone new and half decent, they immediate fall for that person. Then they ask the question of why they have no one.

I want to pull out my proverbial hair and tell them that they have no one because they are clingy, needy, without self-esteem and confidence. They remind me of the people who’ll be attracted to and have sex with just about anybody. The only difference is that those people can get some and these desperate losers can’t get any.

I am sorry, but if your life and well-being depends THAT much on being with another person, you’ve got issues.

These people, it seems, will settle for absolutely anything that comes along — whether it fits into the bigger picture or not. Then, they bitch and moan and whine about how the relationship didn’t work out.

Maybe it didn’t work out because you’re a loser and had nothing to offer! And despite of whatever law of physics you might have heard, the same attract. Thus, if you’re a loser, you’re going to date losers, and losers don’t make winners, thus the relationship is bound to fall apart.

I recently met a girl who’s been following me like a puppy dog despite my being an asshole to her. She asks me silly little questions, wants to do dinner, sends me stupid text messages and asks me what I think of love …

You know what I think — no — what I know of love? That I don’t love you!

Jesus Christ, I told the girl I only date Unitarians and atheists, and her little Catholic ass comes back with, “Well, but if it’s love, it can be worked out.”

Well, it’s NOT love. I don’t even fucking know you that well! You don’t know shit about politics or feminism and you’re a boring-ass math major. I have no interest in you, all I did was ask you to sign a goddamn petition for me. Now go away!

Go away! Ugh! I wouldn’t have sex with you even if my two hands were chopped off.

Somebody get me a Red Bull. On second thoughts, I might not need it

Benefits of being single/childfree.
August 14, 2007, 1:27 pm
Filed under: childfree, children, college, family, Feminism, love, motherhood, parents, relationships, singles

Last night, finally going to bed around 3 a.m., it all the sudden hit me – that, in a culture when so much emphasis is being put on creating a family, finding “true love” (whatever that means) and making little people, that there are great benefits from being single and childfree (not to be confused with chidless).

In recent weeks, I’ve made extremely important and big career moves, and the reason I was able to take those risks, make those choices, jump a few spaces, get my foot in the door and pursue my dream is that I have no children, and that I am neither romantically nor emotionally attached to anyone.

I have nothing against parenthood and I certainly have nothing against serious, emotionally-vested relationships; but it seems as though while the emotional benefits are great, and sometimes, children and relationships do make us better people, they also prevent us from taking the steps we need to do what we want with our dreams.

Let’s say: I decide to get out of the Army, intern for NOW and transfer to a university in northern Virginia? What do I have to do? Oh, just sign some paperwork, rent a U-Hual, and kiss a few friends good-bye, and there you have it. It’s done. All I’d need is a suit, a few dress shirts and a Fountains of Wayne CD, and I am happy.

But suppose I were with a father – or in love with someone.

Then, instead of just thinking for myself, I’d have to think of THAT child. I have to think with the person with whom I am in love. It’s a personal and emotional responsibility that I’d have to carry. It’s a responsibility that, quite frankly, anyone who have plans to change the world should never have to take on while in our 20’s. Society might look down upon those without children or aren’t in serious relationships (as if somehow they both legitimize us), but there is a worth to being without child and a relationship.

People say the benefits of children and relationships include the fact that there’s someone to come home to. Isn’t that a little bit egotistical? You should create children because you want to raise productive members of society. You should enter relationships because you and that person share very deep and common values and convictions. You shouldn’t do any of that simply because it feels good.

In the end, children are so beautiful, with their little fingers and hands, feet and gurgles; I love the way they smile and grip on to my finger so strongly. I love their laughter their soft breaths as their chests rise up and down while they’re sleeping; and I loved it when, the other day, a 6-month-old — in being asked to kiss me, just put his face against my cheek and started drooling. So I can appreciate children.

I also appreciate meaningful relationships, ones that consist of teaching and learn, taking and giving, which allow me to be my silly, full-of-love self rather than the rock of a politician; the relationships that I can be totally open and honest. Those relationships can be beautiful.

They can all be beautiful. But you know what? The single, children-free life can also be extremely satisfying and beautiful – and is also a cause for celebration.

It may be true that each night a child is born, is a holy night – but each night, to go to bed knowing exactly what you’ll do the next morning, no matter what life throws at you, because you’re in control of your life, can also be pretty fucking awesome. Not “holy,” but awesome

“Unhooked: How women pursue love and crap …”

Has anyone read a book called “Unhooked: How Young Women Pursue Sex, Delay Love and Lose At Both”? I heard about this book from a feminist I’d been working with on some student activism issues, and also heard a few of my female friends mention it.

By the time I finish any book, I can always tell if I hated it liked it, but I don’t really know with this book.

It brings up a good point and takes a stand against sex-positive feminism in taking the position that sexual politics and the power thereof do not translate into true political power in feminism. In fact, it might add to the plight of women. Just from that chapter alone, one could write a whole damned essay on feminist theories and personal responsibility.

But at the same time, it also covers the lives of college students and the “hook-up” culture, featuring the lives of many young women who, caught up in the casual sex culture, were unable to have healthy, loving relationships. Its attribution is, as if, somehow casual sex leads to an inability to love.

Furthermore, it treats heartbreaks, broken relationships, unrequited love (or as I like to call it, unrequited interest, as “love” is built in a relationship, and not just through mere association with someone) as if they are cataclysmic events that are harmful to young women and men. They are not. They are pretty healthy. They are a part of being an adult and social interaction. I’ve bad my share of bad (as well as good) relationships, unrequited interests, and all those things covered in the book, and it’s only made me a better person. So, I am failing to understand the author’s point.

What I find problematic is that the author presupposes that, somehow, we can’t have both. She supposes that, somehow, without love, that college students will grow old to be like that lady in “Great Expectations,” sitting at home wth a bunch of cats.

What if, it’s just that college students – and especially ambitious ones, are being promicuous because they’ve not yet (since their standards and dreams are so high) found the person who is fitting enough to love? Does this mean, then, that they ought to throw away the condoms, stay away from the bars, and just be old and boring?

It also talks about the academic challenges of college and how, because careers and academics are considered more important than love, many women are choosing the formers over the latter, and instead, choosing to “hook-up.” I get a sense, and perhaps I am being defensive here, that the author is advocating love and marriage over academic and career achievements. This, for me, opens a whole other dialogue about that Betty Friedan brought up in the “Feminine Mystique,” which, ironically, was mentioned in the book.

The book also attributes the casual sex culture with the Vagina Monologues and my favorite play, “Because He Liked to look at it.” Its message was, essentially, raising awareness about female sexuality has somehow been responsible for the sexual behavior of women that ended up hurting them. I am not a big fan of using the play as political activism, but I don’t like the idea of bashing it.

My biggest issue with the book is, like many other studies of sexuality, it only addresses relationships in a heterosexual sense. There are many of my friends who go through the same “hook-up” culture as homosexuals, both males and females.

I don’t know …the majority of the book reads like a bad episode of Real Life or Queer as Folk (straight style), but it also brings up very interesting feminist perspectives, weaving together the various movements and waves. If nothing else, it’s making me think. In all, it’s a good book. There are some quite touching parts to the book, while other parts just makes me want to throw the book out the window. It’s sort of like a roommate – sometimes you love it, sometimes you hate it.

Bottom line I drew from this book: everything in moderation in terms of both casual sex and falling in love. I don’t think the author said this, but it’s what I drew from it. There’s Marc’s creative nature at work for you.

I don’t know what to make of this book …but, if you feel like discussing it, the copy I currently have is yours. Drop by the house any time and pick it up.